Things that look alike can turn out to be very different as we get closer to them, and get to know them.
I have always been a fan of Smarties, the colorful candy-coated chocolate treats (Wikipedia). Round but also flat, small but easy to grab — they are fun to eat and easy to share. Their cousins, M&Ms, share the same features.
I can even thank Smarties for teaching me the idea of sorting: “Here are the red ones, and here are the blue ones.”
Smarties usually come in a box, which even kids can open, and make a great sound when you shake it. They are like candy maracas!
Balloons are another source of joy through the years, and are also round and colorful.
It is difficult to estimate how much fun balloons have added to our lives over the years. They have been at birthday parties, anniversaries, and going-away parties. Balloons are pretty much guaranteed to add a festive air to any celebration.
They are also a great source of helium, which lets us talk in a high-pitched voice.
Even though balloons and Smarties are both round and colorful, we can easily tell one from the other. A Smartie fits on your fingertip; a balloon is the size of your head. A Smartie tastes good; a balloon won’t fit in your mouth and, as a choking hazard, tastes suitably awful. [General eating advice: never eat anything bigger than your head.]
Both Smarties and balloons can be good while they last. While the final moment of a Smartie is one more sweet crunch; the final moment of a balloon is a loud pop or a shrivelled husk, hopefully when we’re not there.
We learn about new things bit by bit, often helped by others. We often can’t tell how things are going to work out, but can take comfort in knowing there are many good things in life.
For things we aren’t sure about, it’s okay to take things slow, and take a closer look.